US President Joe Biden on July 9 declared that it was scrapping former President Donald Trump’s proposal to limit student visas to a four-year term for international scholars, including those from India and others countries as well.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on July 6 published the decision stating that it would also do away with the proposed limits on visas for journalists.
As per a statement issued by the DHS, it had received around 32,000 public comments, out of which 99% pertained to the proposal made by the Trump administration last September. Therefore, it decided to cancel the proposed changes.
It said, DHS “is concerned that the alterations proposed unnecessarily impede access to immigration benefits.”
The proposal of the Trump administration would have further minimized the ceilings on student visas to two years for particular countries, a large number of whose citizens were overstaying their visas.
The DHS clarified that those criticising the time limit are increasingly hassling the international students, exchange scholars, and foreign media representatives and putting an enormous cost.
How this action would benefit international students and journalists worldwide, including Indians?
- By sticking to the existing visa regulations, students on F and J visas can keep their visas in the United States and continue their studies, and journalists on I visas can keep their current jobs.
- If the proposed changes by the Trump administration had been executed, they would have had to apply to extend US Citizenship and Immigration Service or immediately leave the country. And then re-approach the Customs and Border Protection agency to considers them for re-admission.
- Higher education groups who were alarmed by the burdensome and costly new reapplication process to continue their studies in the US, in case of a policy change, are relieved now.
- Many non-citizens who are not eligible to apply for an extension to stay in the US or have it approved on time and hence, could have lost jobs, or the businesses could have lost potential job candidates, can rest easy now.
- If the visas of the four-year term had been restricted, Ph.D. students or research scholars would have been in trouble as they need more than four years to pursue a doctoral degree.